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Commenter Pat Boyle writes:

Ah, Herb Caen. I haven’t thought about him in years but at the time I thought about him every day. Everybody did. Part of it was that The San Francisco Chronicle was such a lousy newspaper. Everyone read his column because no one bothered with reading the editorial page.

Caen was known to everyone including the police. I know this because one night I was driving home to my apartment on Russian Hill and I was rear ended (mildly) while stopped at a stop sign. I was completely innocent and the guy who hit me was completely and irrefutably at fault.

Unfortunately he was some kind of big wig in the SF police department. Several street cops drove up and I knew I was in trouble when all of them saluted this guy and said ‘sir’ a lot.

So the guy who ran into me was let go and I was arrested. It seems I had an overdue parking ticket from a year ago in Daly City (a nearby suburb) . That’s how I ended up staying most of the night at the police station. The cops wouldn’t take a check or a credit card and I didn’t have enough cash on me. I was truly stuck.

Then I hit on the solution. I made the preposterous claim that I was Herb Caen’s nephew and if not immediately released everyone would read about this whole embarrassing incident tomorrow morning in my uncle’s column.

Never doubt the power of the press. I was let go and spent the rest of the night at home in my own bed. Thanks, Herb.

Herb Caen was really famous for a local columnist, almost as famous as Mike Royko in Chicago. He is said to have coined the term “beatnik” and made “hippie” famous.

Caen did kind of a pointillistic column of gossip and offhand observations, six days per week, 25 or so items totaling a thousand words per day for roughly ever: 1938 to 1996, approximately. Something like 17 million words.

 
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  1. Stories like that put a real sheen on the image of America as the Shining City on the Hill.

  2. Pronounced “cane,” he invented the ellipsis-delineated item style of writing.

    I remember his account of a dinner party where the uppercrust San Francisco hostess served Rice-a-Roni to the unwitting guests.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    "I remember his account of a dinner party where the uppercrust San Francisco hostess served Rice-a-Roni to the unwitting guests".

    Exactly the sort of snooping into their lives on Caen's part which the "upper crust" tried hard to avoid.

    Some forty years ago I had dinner at Trader Vic's with two members of the oldest and highest set San Francisco has to offer - and their wives, one of whom was my sister.

    We had a fine old time, and I was taken aback as we left to see my erstwhile brother-in-law discreetly handing a wad of bills to the head waiter, who nodded knowingly.

    Jock noticed my puzzlement and said, "Oh that. Just making sure this evening's fun won't be in Caen's column tomorrow morning".

  3. Jack Kerouac hated the term beatnik and complained to Herb Caen right away. The Yiddish/Russian suffix “nik” made them sound silly, rather than deep.

  4. Something like 17 million words.

    How many are you up to now Steve?

    Of course, you go for quality, for TINF content. If you wanted quantity you might embrace Straussianism, which has a quality all of its own: narcolepsy.

  5. … observations, six days per week, 25 or so items totaling a thousand words per day for roughly ever

    That reminds me, Steve—are you getting more exercise this month? What’s your weekly routine, if I may ask? One must stay stronk.

  6. I’m sorry, Pat Boyle wrote this in response to what? What brought Herb Caen up?

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    http://www.unz.com/isteve/intelligence-investigating-the-right-tail-of-wealth/#comment-2208533
  7. Since when does a shaggy dog story need context?

  8. Jimmy Breslin was the NYC version of Caen/Royko, but with the garrulous Irish spin.

    Of the three, I always thought that Royko was the best.

    I wonder if every town has/had their Caen/Royko/Breslin types.

    • Agree: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Sportswriter Jim Murray was (IIRC) the top columnist in L.A. in that era:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Murray_(sportswriter)

    , @Dan Hayes
    Obsessive Contrarian:

    Jimmy Breslin may or may not have been a talented wordsmith, but without doubt he was the quintessential self-hating Irishman.
  9. Caen printed one of my great lines once.

    I took date to a huge showing of Impressionist paintings in town.

    I turned to my date and whispered in her ear “I can’t take my eyes off of you”

    Caen printed it and my date shared the column with her mother.

    I was treated well after the show.

  10. I saw him referred to as The Original Blogger once. That title was also applied to Jorn Barger. Take your pic.

    Completely different looking dudes anyway. Compare and contrast.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I saw him referred to as The Original Blogger once. That title was also applied to Jorn Barger. Take your pic.
     
    Sei Shonagon was the original blogger.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/Hyakuninisshu_062.jpg
  11. When I was an entomology student at UC Berkeley in the 70’s, I lived in Barrington Hall, a 160-student cooperative. No adults. It was run by students, and was about as crazy as one can imagine.

    Each year I would host a “Bug Dinner” where all the dishes contained insects — chocolate chirpies, garlic fred meal worms, applesauce surprise cake, etc.

    We always invited Herb, and he aways sent his assistant to the party. Sure enough, the next day, there was a glowing review of our dinner in his column, which pleased us to no end.

    He had some honor. I contacted him once about an interesting new drug that was the current rage at Berkeley — nitrous oxide obtained from whipcream canisters. To his credit, he didn’t use it in his column.

    He was a funny and clever guy.

  12. I suppose youze guys pronounce it ‘erb Caen?

  13. It wasn’t uncommon in the 80s and early 90s to see Herb Caen out till long past midnight at whatever club happened to be hot at the moment. He was comped pretty much everywhere he went and seemed to enjoy himself thoroughly. By his own admission he never went to bed before 4am and was in bed until noon.

    To bring matters up to the ‘present year’: He was one of the first to note the ‘interesting’ Willie Brown–Kamala Harris alliance, but as one of Brown’s best friends, he seemed positively jealous about it.

  14. I made a few visits to California back in Herb Caen’s day. He was always entertaining when I got to see his column. One time he was effusive about a hole in the wall Mexican place in LA that grilled thin cut beef just right and dressed it with a little lemon juice…was 1986 or so. I tried to find it or it was too far away to bother driving to, so we found a different small Mexican place. Just saying that I trusted his food recommendation. His columns were wide ranging and also veered into politics occasionally iirc.

  15. I used to read Caen’s column occasionally. The only item I remember is the following joke:

    Question: Why did God create women?

    Answer: Because he couldn’t teach sheep to type.

  16. Double or maybe triple OT, but linked to a link of yours brought me to some of your old articles about Ashkenazi over-representation in journalism, Hollywood, and academia, which in turn reminded me of a recent Audacious Epigone piece (or maybe it was somebody else?) showing that run-of-the-mill Ashkenazi Americans are not only far more conservative than their elite “representatives” on issues like immigration, race, gender, and multi-culturalism, but are in fact just as conservative and in some cases slightly more conservative than whites.

    That in turn reminded me of something I had read decades ago about the origins of the Hasidic movement among Eastern European Jewry, which was that it began as a populist revolt. It seems that in pre-Hasidic times the tiny governing oligarchic/cultural elites in the shtetls — which was composed of the then orthodox mitnagdim rabbis and the most successful merchants in town to which their children were married — were so over-bearing and unrepresentative of the interests of the general Jewish population, that it led to a shockingly “vulgar” populist rebellion, whose hallmarks were a new kind of rabbi and a new kind of Judaism.

    I am wondering if something like this might happen again.

    [Forgive the typos, I am sure there must be some but I can’t see very well.]

    • Replies: @Anonym
    I hope so. This is also OT, but on topic to your post.

    I've been LMAO over the comments to this article in Breitbart. You can tell it's the typical such article designed to provoke guilt and concern. Apparently twitter is a big vector in rising "anti-Semitism", which AFAICT consists mainly of truth airing along with some oven jokes. The advocated response of course is, "Oy vey, shut it down".

    http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2018/02/18/watch-holocaust-denial-anti-semitic-threats-soaring-social-media/

    Instead, the very first comment is this:

    It's hard NOT to be anti-Semitic when people like Barbara Lerner Spectre say:

    "I think there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism because at this point in time Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role and without that transformation, Europe will not survive."

    Notice she says "they (Europeans) are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role"...

    What leading role exactly does the Jewish community have in this? Are they championing multiculturalism by being impregnated by Africans and Muslims?

    You know the answer to this.
     
    And this epic post which followed:

    Well quite. Here are some examples of how the Jewish community is at the forefront of open borders activism:

    1) Jewish body HIAS leads the challenge to Trump's Muslim ban in the Supreme Court.

    2) The Diversity Visa was pushed through by Chucky Schumer, also Jewish

    3) Obama’s DACA program is being defended by New York AG Eric Schneiderman named by the JTA as the “Jew who leads the Trump resistance”.

    4) Jewish groups are pushing to bring Muslims over faster from Syria by lobbying for their security checks to be sped up.

    5) Jewish organisation the ADL wants Muslims to build mosques anywhere in America. The ADL states its the top defender of Muslim rights in the US.

    6) The top refugee agency is the IRC run by Miliband, Jewish. David wants 65'000 more refugees for America but none for Israel.

    7) The biggest donors to the open border Democrats are Jews.

    8) In fact America truly became diverse with the bill of 1965 which let in 60 million migrants, 90% from the Third World. See link.

    The bill is even named after Jewish Congressman Celler who ran point in Congress and spent his entire career lobbying for it. While Jewish Deputy AG Schlei came up with the wording enabling chain migration from the Third World

    9) Marxism aimed to pave the way for communism in the West by undermining our traditional values. It was a Jewish creation as per this Jewish source.

    10) These Marxist mantras are preached 24/7 from a media pulpit run almost entirely by Jewish CEOs. This media guilts us into welcoming refugees displaced by Mid East wars pushed by Jewish neocons to make way for 'Greater Israel'.

    11) Joe Biden confirmed this. Joe said Jews shaped literally 85% of Marxist changes in our societies.

    12) Do individual Jews support open borders? Over 80% of Jews voted Obama.

    Fun fact: There’s even a “Rainbow Welcome Initiative” for LGBT refugees headed by Sid Mohn, another Jewish Marxist.

    http://www.theoccidentalobs...
    http://forward.com/culture/...
     
    Now that's an epic truthbomb. I admire the sheer athletic, fanatical tenacity by which someone can get a post to be first page in a Breitbart thread, let alone of that quality.

    The funny thing is, I wouldn't even care to know what a Jew was enough to differentiate one from a Mennonite (whatever they are) if I didn't see every country in my whole entire civilization be mostly legally invaded in real time before my eyes, chaperoned by corrupt traitor politicians of my own people. Who are scared to say boo because of the Lugenpresse, who are of course the Judenpresse. There are approximately a billion things I would rather be doing with my time, however, impending genocide concentrates the mind wonderfully.
    , @Hanoi Paris Hilton
    As I've hollered repeatedly here and elsewhere, notoriously pro-Zionist and Joooo-apologist Mister Roissy over at Chateau Heartiste put up stats some time ago indicating that cisgendered male, married American Joooos went 58.8% for Trump. Huhhhh?
    , @J.Ross
    Have you read Israel Shahak's book Jewish History, Jewish Religion, the Weight of Three Thousand Years, or the older and quite different Life Is With People?
    , @Mr. Anon

    .................which in turn reminded me of a recent Audacious Epigone piece (or maybe it was somebody else?) showing that run-of-the-mill Ashkenazi Americans are not only far more conservative than their elite “representatives” on issues like immigration, race, gender, and multi-culturalism, but are in fact just as conservative and in some cases slightly more conservative than whites.
     
    The fact that they consistently vote for Democrats at a rate of about %70, year-in and year-out, tends to give the lie to that notion.
  17. Random recollection:

    Allen Ginsberg bitterly resented the usage of Caen’s coinage of “beatnik,” as if it were just a neutral descriptive. Whenever the term was used to describe him, Ginsberg would respond by saying Caen’s term was meant to be derisive, like calling a person of color a you-know-what.

    But Caen would later say he didn’t intend for the work to be used pejoratively. The suffix, “nik” was part of the zeitgeist in the late 50’s because of Sputnik, so the term just popped into his head. After all, it’s just the slavic suffix that we know in English as “er.”

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Ginsberg was correct. Of course the term is pejorative.

    As an aside, Ginsberg is an alumnus of Eastside High School, made famous by Lean on Me. Obviously the Eastside of 1943 and the Eastside of 1983 were very different places. Much like the Weequahic of Philip Roth is not the Weequahic of today.
  18. Off-topic,

    Frum has lost all touch with reality:

    The new question is this: What has been—what will be done—to protect American democracy from such attacks in the future? The Russian attack in 2016 worked, yielding dividends beyond Vladimir Putin’s wildest hopes. The Russians hoped to cast a shadow over the Clinton presidency. Instead, they outright elected their preferred candidate. Americans once thought it was a big deal that Alger Hiss rose to serve as acting temporary secretary general of the United Nations. This time, a Russian-backed individual was installed in the Oval Office.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/

    • Replies: @syonredux
    More foaming at the mouth from Frum:

    Authoritarian nationalist parties across the western world have outright cooperated with the Russians. Russian money has helped to finance the National Front in France, and the election and re-election of the president of the Czech Republic. In Germany, Russia first created a hoax refugee-rape case—then widely publicized it—in an effort to boost its preferred extremist party in that country’s 2017 election, the Alternative for Germany. Russia supported pro-AfD comment in media favored by Germany’s surprisingly substantial Russian-speaking communities.
     
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/
    , @dearieme
    "they outright elected their preferred candidate." What is the evidence that Trump was their preferred candidate? And by what clairvoyance did they know in 2014 that he would be a candidate at all?
    , @Jefferson
    Since The Left hates Russia now, do you think Left Wingers would still be pro-open borders if Russia instead of Mexico were our neighbors to The South?
    , @J.Ross
    >the Russian attack in 2016 worked
    And now I am seeing Jon Stewart admonishing, "this isn't your country!"
  19. @syonredux
    Off-topic,

    Frum has lost all touch with reality:

    The new question is this: What has been—what will be done—to protect American democracy from such attacks in the future? The Russian attack in 2016 worked, yielding dividends beyond Vladimir Putin’s wildest hopes. The Russians hoped to cast a shadow over the Clinton presidency. Instead, they outright elected their preferred candidate. Americans once thought it was a big deal that Alger Hiss rose to serve as acting temporary secretary general of the United Nations. This time, a Russian-backed individual was installed in the Oval Office.
     
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/

    More foaming at the mouth from Frum:

    Authoritarian nationalist parties across the western world have outright cooperated with the Russians. Russian money has helped to finance the National Front in France, and the election and re-election of the president of the Czech Republic. In Germany, Russia first created a hoax refugee-rape case—then widely publicized it—in an effort to boost its preferred extremist party in that country’s 2017 election, the Alternative for Germany. Russia supported pro-AfD comment in media favored by Germany’s surprisingly substantial Russian-speaking communities.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    The Atlantic was once a redoubt of the best sort of liberal opinion journalism and even 10 years ago was promoting people who had a distinct personal voice and acted as honest brokers. (e.g Megan McArdle). Now there's this rot. Frum sold himself as a libertarian at one point, as a crusader at another, and as the recrudescence of Rockefeller Republicanism at another. Now he sells himself as Mr. NeverTrump. Frum is scrounging for a constituency, so plays let's pretend in order to validate the worldview of The Atlantic's employees and readers. The whole exercise is silly.
    , @Roderick Spode

    In Germany, Russia first created a hoax refugee-rape case—then widely publicized it—in an effort to boost its preferred extremist party in that country’s 2017 election, the Alternative for Germany.
     
    Is he claiming that the extensively documented Cologne attacks were a Russian hoax?

    That is who/whom to the extreme. Who cares about justice for raped women when the narrative is on the line? Not Frum, for whom this is hardly the first time bending the truth in the name of (((democracy)))

    Mendacious. Crooked. Scum. Enemy of our people. Back to Canaan!
    , @J.Ross
    >have outright cooperated with Russians
    I cannot read examples of this charge without seeing Debbie Wasserman Schulz moving her arm up and down.
  20. @Luke Lea
    Double or maybe triple OT, but linked to a link of yours brought me to some of your old articles about Ashkenazi over-representation in journalism, Hollywood, and academia, which in turn reminded me of a recent Audacious Epigone piece (or maybe it was somebody else?) showing that run-of-the-mill Ashkenazi Americans are not only far more conservative than their elite "representatives" on issues like immigration, race, gender, and multi-culturalism, but are in fact just as conservative and in some cases slightly more conservative than whites.

    That in turn reminded me of something I had read decades ago about the origins of the Hasidic movement among Eastern European Jewry, which was that it began as a populist revolt. It seems that in pre-Hasidic times the tiny governing oligarchic/cultural elites in the shtetls — which was composed of the then orthodox mitnagdim rabbis and the most successful merchants in town to which their children were married — were so over-bearing and unrepresentative of the interests of the general Jewish population, that it led to a shockingly "vulgar" populist rebellion, whose hallmarks were a new kind of rabbi and a new kind of Judaism.

    I am wondering if something like this might happen again.

    [Forgive the typos, I am sure there must be some but I can't see very well.]

    I hope so. This is also OT, but on topic to your post.

    I’ve been LMAO over the comments to this article in Breitbart. You can tell it’s the typical such article designed to provoke guilt and concern. Apparently twitter is a big vector in rising “anti-Semitism”, which AFAICT consists mainly of truth airing along with some oven jokes. The advocated response of course is, “Oy vey, shut it down”.

    http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2018/02/18/watch-holocaust-denial-anti-semitic-threats-soaring-social-media/

    Instead, the very first comment is this:

    It’s hard NOT to be anti-Semitic when people like Barbara Lerner Spectre say:

    “I think there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism because at this point in time Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role and without that transformation, Europe will not survive.”

    Notice she says “they (Europeans) are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role”…

    What leading role exactly does the Jewish community have in this? Are they championing multiculturalism by being impregnated by Africans and Muslims?

    You know the answer to this.

    And this epic post which followed:

    Well quite. Here are some examples of how the Jewish community is at the forefront of open borders activism:

    1) Jewish body HIAS leads the challenge to Trump’s Muslim ban in the Supreme Court.

    2) The Diversity Visa was pushed through by Chucky Schumer, also Jewish

    3) Obama’s DACA program is being defended by New York AG Eric Schneiderman named by the JTA as the “Jew who leads the Trump resistance”.

    4) Jewish groups are pushing to bring Muslims over faster from Syria by lobbying for their security checks to be sped up.

    5) Jewish organisation the ADL wants Muslims to build mosques anywhere in America. The ADL states its the top defender of Muslim rights in the US.

    6) The top refugee agency is the IRC run by Miliband, Jewish. David wants 65’000 more refugees for America but none for Israel.

    7) The biggest donors to the open border Democrats are Jews.

    8) In fact America truly became diverse with the bill of 1965 which let in 60 million migrants, 90% from the Third World. See link.

    The bill is even named after Jewish Congressman Celler who ran point in Congress and spent his entire career lobbying for it. While Jewish Deputy AG Schlei came up with the wording enabling chain migration from the Third World

    9) Marxism aimed to pave the way for communism in the West by undermining our traditional values. It was a Jewish creation as per this Jewish source.

    10) These Marxist mantras are preached 24/7 from a media pulpit run almost entirely by Jewish CEOs. This media guilts us into welcoming refugees displaced by Mid East wars pushed by Jewish neocons to make way for ‘Greater Israel’.

    11) Joe Biden confirmed this. Joe said Jews shaped literally 85% of Marxist changes in our societies.

    12) Do individual Jews support open borders? Over 80% of Jews voted Obama.

    Fun fact: There’s even a “Rainbow Welcome Initiative” for LGBT refugees headed by Sid Mohn, another Jewish Marxist.

    http://www.theoccidentalobs…
    http://forward.com/culture/…

    Now that’s an epic truthbomb. I admire the sheer athletic, fanatical tenacity by which someone can get a post to be first page in a Breitbart thread, let alone of that quality.

    The funny thing is, I wouldn’t even care to know what a Jew was enough to differentiate one from a Mennonite (whatever they are) if I didn’t see every country in my whole entire civilization be mostly legally invaded in real time before my eyes, chaperoned by corrupt traitor politicians of my own people. Who are scared to say boo because of the Lugenpresse, who are of course the Judenpresse. There are approximately a billion things I would rather be doing with my time, however, impending genocide concentrates the mind wonderfully.

  21. @Luke Lea
    Double or maybe triple OT, but linked to a link of yours brought me to some of your old articles about Ashkenazi over-representation in journalism, Hollywood, and academia, which in turn reminded me of a recent Audacious Epigone piece (or maybe it was somebody else?) showing that run-of-the-mill Ashkenazi Americans are not only far more conservative than their elite "representatives" on issues like immigration, race, gender, and multi-culturalism, but are in fact just as conservative and in some cases slightly more conservative than whites.

    That in turn reminded me of something I had read decades ago about the origins of the Hasidic movement among Eastern European Jewry, which was that it began as a populist revolt. It seems that in pre-Hasidic times the tiny governing oligarchic/cultural elites in the shtetls — which was composed of the then orthodox mitnagdim rabbis and the most successful merchants in town to which their children were married — were so over-bearing and unrepresentative of the interests of the general Jewish population, that it led to a shockingly "vulgar" populist rebellion, whose hallmarks were a new kind of rabbi and a new kind of Judaism.

    I am wondering if something like this might happen again.

    [Forgive the typos, I am sure there must be some but I can't see very well.]

    As I’ve hollered repeatedly here and elsewhere, notoriously pro-Zionist and Joooo-apologist Mister Roissy over at Chateau Heartiste put up stats some time ago indicating that cisgendered male, married American Joooos went 58.8% for Trump. Huhhhh?

  22. I turned my back on David Frum long ago.

    I see I haven’t been missing much.

  23. OT but when Jared Taylor was debating Tariq Nasheed, Jared said Whites are 15% of the world’s population, but Tariq said Whites are 8% of the world’s population. Tariq Nasheed contradicts himself again because he counts Latin America and The Middle East as White supremacist regions, not People Of Color regions.

    Last time I checked the combined populations of Europe, The Middle East, and Latin America are way more than 8% of the world’s population. And that’s not even counting the White populations in North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

    Tariq is a retard, becausing using his own definition of White it does not support his 8% claim when he counts places like Mexico and Morocco as White supremacist nations.

  24. Is it just my computer, or are all the comments suddenly repeating themselves?

    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
    I haven't noticed anything. I haven't noticed anything. I haven't noticed anything.
  25. @syonredux
    Off-topic,

    Frum has lost all touch with reality:

    The new question is this: What has been—what will be done—to protect American democracy from such attacks in the future? The Russian attack in 2016 worked, yielding dividends beyond Vladimir Putin’s wildest hopes. The Russians hoped to cast a shadow over the Clinton presidency. Instead, they outright elected their preferred candidate. Americans once thought it was a big deal that Alger Hiss rose to serve as acting temporary secretary general of the United Nations. This time, a Russian-backed individual was installed in the Oval Office.
     
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/

    “they outright elected their preferred candidate.” What is the evidence that Trump was their preferred candidate? And by what clairvoyance did they know in 2014 that he would be a candidate at all?

  26. By God they’re clever, all-powerful people these Russkis. I’ll bet they appointed the Pope too. And they are all Freemasons, I’ll bet.

    • LOL: Hibernian
  27. @syonredux
    More foaming at the mouth from Frum:

    Authoritarian nationalist parties across the western world have outright cooperated with the Russians. Russian money has helped to finance the National Front in France, and the election and re-election of the president of the Czech Republic. In Germany, Russia first created a hoax refugee-rape case—then widely publicized it—in an effort to boost its preferred extremist party in that country’s 2017 election, the Alternative for Germany. Russia supported pro-AfD comment in media favored by Germany’s surprisingly substantial Russian-speaking communities.
     
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/

    The Atlantic was once a redoubt of the best sort of liberal opinion journalism and even 10 years ago was promoting people who had a distinct personal voice and acted as honest brokers. (e.g Megan McArdle). Now there’s this rot. Frum sold himself as a libertarian at one point, as a crusader at another, and as the recrudescence of Rockefeller Republicanism at another. Now he sells himself as Mr. NeverTrump. Frum is scrounging for a constituency, so plays let’s pretend in order to validate the worldview of The Atlantic‘s employees and readers. The whole exercise is silly.

    • Replies: @james wilson
    I use Frum as a disinfectant. Whoever takes him seriously I put in the cucked and conniving bag.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    The Atlantic was once a redoubt of the best sort of liberal opinion journalism and even 10 years ago...
     
    "Liberal reporter" and "progressive journalist" are almost polar opposites. As different as menshevik and bolshevik.
    , @Johann Ricke
    I'd call Frum a schnorrer, except for his sense of entitlement.
  28. Both he and his editor are pretending they don’t understand what is meant by ‘post hoc fallacy’. They do that to appeal to readers who are primarily emotions-driven.

  29. @Art Deco
    The Atlantic was once a redoubt of the best sort of liberal opinion journalism and even 10 years ago was promoting people who had a distinct personal voice and acted as honest brokers. (e.g Megan McArdle). Now there's this rot. Frum sold himself as a libertarian at one point, as a crusader at another, and as the recrudescence of Rockefeller Republicanism at another. Now he sells himself as Mr. NeverTrump. Frum is scrounging for a constituency, so plays let's pretend in order to validate the worldview of The Atlantic's employees and readers. The whole exercise is silly.

    I use Frum as a disinfectant. Whoever takes him seriously I put in the cucked and conniving bag.

  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Pence speechifies in TX about Trump: “Promises made, promises delivered!”

    WTF!?!?

    Meanwhile … DACA: dumbest negotiation ever! Trump is heading for an embarrassing conclusion on DACA where he is forced to punt like a weakling or surrender on even weaker terms than already offered.

    Just one of many nasty betrayals of the campaign.

  31. When I lived in San Francisco I was neighbors with, and became a drinking companion of, an editor for the SF Chronicle in the early 90’s. This was at the very end of Caen’s life and career (he died in 1997 of lung cancer and wrote almost up until the very end).

    According to my neighbor, Caen never picked up a tab for anything (haircuts, drinks, meals, dry cleaning, suits, etc…). The reason is every business in town wanted a good blurb from him.

    Caen and Willie Brown were also good, good buddies. Hell, Caen probably had a Vitamin V (Caen loved vodka and he always called it Vitamin V) with a very young Kamala.

    Caen dressed straight out of the 1950s. I once saw him at a 10:30 p.m. Sunday night movie at the Kabuki 8 movie theatre. Dude had on a coat and tie and his ubiquitous hat. This was at the height of the Grunge period in San Francisco and Seattle.

    He also got invited to Truman Capote’s very famous Black and White Ball in 1966.

    I spent many a morning crammed on a muni train or bus trying to read his column as the 4’2″ fish-smelling Chinese woman of indeterminate age and the ever present plastic bag in each hand pressed up against me trying to garner another inch of space for herself.

  32. From his Wikipedia page:

    His many recurring if irregular features included “Namephreaks”‍—‌people with names (aptronyms) peculiarly appropriate or inappropriate to their vocations or avocations, such as substitute teacher Mr. Fillin, hospital spokesman Pam Talkington, periodontist Dr. Rott, piano teacher Patience Scales, orthopedic specialist Dr. Kneebone, and the Vatican’s spokesman on the evils of rock ‘n roll, Cardinal Rapsong.

    I worked with a guy years ago who gave us this anecdote. He was in an amateur stand-up night at some club or bowling alley. He asked the emcee not to mention his name when his turn came up, unlike as with the other performers. Rather, “He’ll introduce himself.”

    And he did. “Hello. My name is Dick…” [chuckles]

    “Dick Rott.” [guffaws]

  33. @Art Deco
    The Atlantic was once a redoubt of the best sort of liberal opinion journalism and even 10 years ago was promoting people who had a distinct personal voice and acted as honest brokers. (e.g Megan McArdle). Now there's this rot. Frum sold himself as a libertarian at one point, as a crusader at another, and as the recrudescence of Rockefeller Republicanism at another. Now he sells himself as Mr. NeverTrump. Frum is scrounging for a constituency, so plays let's pretend in order to validate the worldview of The Atlantic's employees and readers. The whole exercise is silly.

    The Atlantic was once a redoubt of the best sort of liberal opinion journalism and even 10 years ago…

    “Liberal reporter” and “progressive journalist” are almost polar opposites. As different as menshevik and bolshevik.

  34. I subscribed for the last 20 years of Caen’s tenure; I could count on my fingers the number of times I read his drivel….Wilkes Bashford, anyone???

    Didn’t know or care about the clowns he babbled about.

    Interesting software glitch; everything is repeated. But doesn’t show up in the edit function so you’re stuck with it.

    • Replies: @Alden
    Caen made Wilkes bashford. I always suspected they paid him to keep writing about how all the well dressed men in town bought their clothes there.
  35. I guess I’ve finally made it. I have had one of my little blurbs acknowledged on the Tiffany Blog – iSteve Sailer.

  36. Steve, what in the world is going on with the comments, where most of the posts repeat themselves?? I notice it’s for past threads as well as recent ones. I hope Unz gets it fixed soon.

  37. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Herb Caen – a 17 million word guy! in NY there was Sidney Zion, but he was more of a trusting soul, who learned, only as an old man, after his daughter died in a hospital that was staffed at a sub-par level, that people who work for liberal city governments cannot be trusted.

    God bless Michael Savage who taught so many people so much with his 100 million words on the radio – may he one day find the peace that Jesus Christ promises to all of us!

    Lincoln and Lee wrote a lot, but what a disaster! 10 million words between the two of them but they should just have sat down together and talked things out. Slavery and other bad things would have ended sooner!

    Howard Stern talks a lot but it is almost all wind and vinegar. Robin Quivers tries to help out, but the billion words of Stern over the last few decades on the radio waves are a blot on multi-media, for the most part. But he is right (as is Michael Savage) that we absolutely need to treat animals better. It is ridiculous for anyone, liberal or conservative, not to take a benevolent aristocratic approach to animals – no, Hodge will not be shot is a start – better yet – kindness and humanity.

    The best writer with the most published words in the 20th century in America – who knows who that is? I could guess, but I prefer not to. Pournelle, maybe? Walker Percy? Definitely not pro-choice p-whipped Paul Harvey and definitely not Saul Bellow. J. Vernon McGee? Fulton Sheen? That guy who did the Beetle Bailey comic strips? Peguy, Don Colacho, Loretta Young? I don’t really know.

    • Replies: @Highlander
    Isaac Asimov.
  38. OT:

    This has been making the rounds but I honestly can’t find any trace of the Icelandic monitor article and it looks a bit shopped, but what is interesting is how much interest there is in doing to Iceland what the Rabbi may or may not have proposed. (Openly, at least.)

    http://www.chabad.org/news/article_cdo/aid/3935094/jewish/Reykjavik-Iceland-The-Last-European-Capital-Without-a-Rabbi-Gets-One.htm

    The Feldmans’ arrival will herald a new era for Iceland’s tiny Jewish community and fulfill a number of firsts for Iceland’s long but sparse Jewish history. The Chabad Jewish Center will be Iceland’s first institutional Jewish presence

    You know the Chabad, such good neighbours, nobody ever has a problem with them or their particularist set of ethics. The rabbi is a stereotype of the brain-washed seminary boy.

    I also found this which is amazing.
    Iceland, the Jews, and Anti-Semitism, 1625-2004
    http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-vilhjalmur-f04.htm
    From the Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs.

    Seems like there has been a bit of a campaign against Iceland for a while.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/simon-wiesenthal-center-issues-reykjavik-travel-advisory/

    LA-based NGO issues travel advisory after Icelandic capital’s ‘extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic’ boycott

    https://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/send-the-refugees-to-iceland/2015/09/20/

    There’s also tension because like Denmark, Iceland is preparing to ban non-medical circumcision of boys.
    https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/politics_and_society/2018/02/08/proposal_to_ban_circumcision_for_boys_in_iceland_co/

  39. Favorite Herb Caen story.

    Woman (Chinese) in Chinatown buys a live chicken (for food) and attempts to get on the bus. Bus driver tells woman no live animals on the bus so she snaps its neck right then and there. Some bus passengers faint.

    • Replies: @Cloudswrest
    Found this on Reddit

    I was actually ON the 30 Stockton when the famous 'Chinese lady kills the chicken' incident occurred. Big black bus driver said "Hey lady! You can't get on the bus with no LIVE chicken!". Little old Chinese lady stopped just outside the door, fixed the driver with her old-Chinese-lady steely glare, and promptly whalloped the chicken against the side of the bus. Nobody said a single word as she then stepped on the bus with a very dead chicken (dripping just a tennsy bit of blood from its mouth). The bus doors closed and off we went.
     
  40. Hate to uh hijack the thread, but Steve, the Black Panther review is definitely coming up right? Did you get a chance to catch the movie this weekend after the first attempt?

    With the release of Black Panther and since I haven’t seen it yet, I’ve currently seen 11/18 of the movies in the MCU. I plan to catch Black Panther though just to see what all the uh hype is about. It seems like white people in this country are going nuts over the movie and waxing rhapsodic about just how breathtaking and transcendent it is. That coupled with blacks dressing up in traditional African garb while attending the movie makes me want to experience the hype for myself.

    Richard Roeper, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, called the film “one of the best superhero movies of the century” and said, “If you appreciate finely honed storytelling with a Shakespearean core; winning performances from an enormously talented ensemble; provocative premises touching on isolationism, revolution and cultures of oppression, and oh yeah, tons of whiz-bang action sequences and good humor – then you should see Black Panther.

  41. @Cloudswrest
    Favorite Herb Caen story.

    Woman (Chinese) in Chinatown buys a live chicken (for food) and attempts to get on the bus. Bus driver tells woman no live animals on the bus so she snaps its neck right then and there. Some bus passengers faint.

    Found this on Reddit

    I was actually ON the 30 Stockton when the famous ‘Chinese lady kills the chicken’ incident occurred. Big black bus driver said “Hey lady! You can’t get on the bus with no LIVE chicken!”. Little old Chinese lady stopped just outside the door, fixed the driver with her old-Chinese-lady steely glare, and promptly whalloped the chicken against the side of the bus. Nobody said a single word as she then stepped on the bus with a very dead chicken (dripping just a tennsy bit of blood from its mouth). The bus doors closed and off we went.

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    Chinese-lady steely glare, and promptly walloped the chicken against the side of the bus.
     
    Yep, that has to be one of the greatest no-nonsense responses to modernity. Especially in the epicenter of global stupidity - California.
  42. @syonredux
    Off-topic,

    Frum has lost all touch with reality:

    The new question is this: What has been—what will be done—to protect American democracy from such attacks in the future? The Russian attack in 2016 worked, yielding dividends beyond Vladimir Putin’s wildest hopes. The Russians hoped to cast a shadow over the Clinton presidency. Instead, they outright elected their preferred candidate. Americans once thought it was a big deal that Alger Hiss rose to serve as acting temporary secretary general of the United Nations. This time, a Russian-backed individual was installed in the Oval Office.
     
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/

    Since The Left hates Russia now, do you think Left Wingers would still be pro-open borders if Russia instead of Mexico were our neighbors to The South?

  43. OT: My ear seems to hear more complexity or subtlety in white vs black speech patterns— has anyone been able to compare those neural structures?

  44. Steve, have you heard of this site? It has the archives (digitized from microfilm) of several thousand newspapers:

    https://www.newspapers.com

    The best thing about this service is that it lets you see everything that was in the paper – not only the articles but the ads, the obituaries, the comics, the baseball box scores, the stock listings, the TV listings, the movie times, and so on. Some papers archived only the main sections, but many archived everything, including the Sunday coupons.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Does it have the legendary Whirled News?
    , @ScarletNumber
    Baseball box scores are easily available online. Having said that, it is a useful tool, mostly because the most interesting part of any old newspaper are the ads, and those normally aren't archived.
  45. Who can forget the inimitable Dick Hertz?

  46. @syonredux
    More foaming at the mouth from Frum:

    Authoritarian nationalist parties across the western world have outright cooperated with the Russians. Russian money has helped to finance the National Front in France, and the election and re-election of the president of the Czech Republic. In Germany, Russia first created a hoax refugee-rape case—then widely publicized it—in an effort to boost its preferred extremist party in that country’s 2017 election, the Alternative for Germany. Russia supported pro-AfD comment in media favored by Germany’s surprisingly substantial Russian-speaking communities.
     
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/

    In Germany, Russia first created a hoax refugee-rape case—then widely publicized it—in an effort to boost its preferred extremist party in that country’s 2017 election, the Alternative for Germany.

    Is he claiming that the extensively documented Cologne attacks were a Russian hoax?

    That is who/whom to the extreme. Who cares about justice for raped women when the narrative is on the line? Not Frum, for whom this is hardly the first time bending the truth in the name of (((democracy)))

    Mendacious. Crooked. Scum. Enemy of our people. Back to Canaan!

  47. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t know what brought up Herb Caen, but here’s my essay on the subject.
    Caen was phenomenal. For 50 or 60 years his chatty column aggregated submissions from all over, a form somewhat imitated in James Taranto’s Best of the Web column in the WSJ. He blended San Francisco society and celebrity gossip with local items from the region, sometimes making the Bay Area seem like one small town.
    Caen’s model was Walter Winchell, whose Broadway and politics column and radio show dominated national celebrity talk for decades. The difference was that Winchell was a “rabid anti-communist”, whereas Caen was a liberal. As McCarthy and Goldwater and the Sixties in general sank the careers of “right-wingers” like Winchell and Westbrook Pegler, Caen went with the anti-Vietnam war flow and held the esteem of the smart and cool, from hippies to Kennedy-Johnson Democrats.
    Caen was known for good humor and friendliness to everyone. If something was amusing, he put it in his column, and there was nothing like the witch-hunt political-correctness atmosphere we have now.
    San Francisco was of course the center of the gay movement, so there was lots of gay stuff in his column. Being anti-gay was bigotry, but there was always room for a laugh.
    For instance, here (from memory) was one of his humorous items:
    “DESE AND DOSE DEPARTMENT: A billboard in the Hispanic part of SF shows a half-naked effeminate-looking reclining guy with the line ‘Disfruto fumando Salem.’”
    It shows how dumb things have gotten that I now feel I have to explain what a short time ago was considered easy stuff for a daily newspaper audience.
    In the Spanish cigarette ad, “Disfruto fumando Salem” means “I enjoy smoking Salem.” Someone who doesn’t know Spanish might think it says “This fruit is smoking Salem.” Of course, even referring to a homosexual as a “fruit” is a hate crime now, but remember, Herb Caen was a beloved LIBERAL, he was pro-gay.
    Notice that to aid reader comprehension and slightly protect himself against gay hatred, his title suggests he is merely joking about local dialects, say in Brooklyn or parts of San Francisco where people say “dese” and “dose” instead of “these” and “those.”
    Now here’s the main specimen of Herb Caen I often think of.
    One time, for a good laugh, he quoted a prominent local gay advocate with this joke:
    “It used to be a serious crime, then it became a minor crime, now it’s no crime. But we won’t be satisfied until it’s mandatory.”
    It lost Caen no points with gays or liberals. It was A GAY who was quoted as making the joke. And there was more than a germ of in-your-face truth to it.
    Enemies of the gay agenda also liked the joke unmasking of the fraud inherent in pro-gay stuff. And it turned out prophetic over the years, with mandatory pro-gay K-12, military, trans etc. etc.
    In the internet witch-hunt era this sort of talk is utterly suppressed, puts you on the SPLC hate list, and ruins anyone who risks it. Not long ago Mark Steyn quoted virtually the same joke from Bob Hope in some context. The free-speech bastion National Review denounced Steyn and cut ties to him.
    What would Herb Caen say?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Not long ago Mark Steyn quoted virtually the same joke from Bob Hope in some context. The free-speech bastion National Review denounced Steyn and cut ties to him.

    It was a Dean Martin joke (Q: "How do you make a fruit cordial?" A: "Be nice to him"). The editor who hit the ceiling was Jason Lee Steorts, Richard Lowry's deputy. Steyn's supporters included Jack Fowler, then the publisher of National Review. Steorts never had a constituency among the publication's attentive readership and his pissant behavior pretty much tore it with them. Thereafter all of his online contributions were met by commenters tossing spears at him. No clue how Steorts keeps his job (which he has had for 13 years) other than he has something on Lowry.
    , @anonymous
    I think Steyn also quoted Bob Hope joke, about gayness becoming mandatory in California. Irony or wit regarding protected classes destroys the humorist. Once it's on the internet you're done for, defense is futile.
  48. @Luke Lea
    Double or maybe triple OT, but linked to a link of yours brought me to some of your old articles about Ashkenazi over-representation in journalism, Hollywood, and academia, which in turn reminded me of a recent Audacious Epigone piece (or maybe it was somebody else?) showing that run-of-the-mill Ashkenazi Americans are not only far more conservative than their elite "representatives" on issues like immigration, race, gender, and multi-culturalism, but are in fact just as conservative and in some cases slightly more conservative than whites.

    That in turn reminded me of something I had read decades ago about the origins of the Hasidic movement among Eastern European Jewry, which was that it began as a populist revolt. It seems that in pre-Hasidic times the tiny governing oligarchic/cultural elites in the shtetls — which was composed of the then orthodox mitnagdim rabbis and the most successful merchants in town to which their children were married — were so over-bearing and unrepresentative of the interests of the general Jewish population, that it led to a shockingly "vulgar" populist rebellion, whose hallmarks were a new kind of rabbi and a new kind of Judaism.

    I am wondering if something like this might happen again.

    [Forgive the typos, I am sure there must be some but I can't see very well.]

    Have you read Israel Shahak’s book Jewish History, Jewish Religion, the Weight of Three Thousand Years, or the older and quite different Life Is With People?

  49. @syonredux
    More foaming at the mouth from Frum:

    Authoritarian nationalist parties across the western world have outright cooperated with the Russians. Russian money has helped to finance the National Front in France, and the election and re-election of the president of the Czech Republic. In Germany, Russia first created a hoax refugee-rape case—then widely publicized it—in an effort to boost its preferred extremist party in that country’s 2017 election, the Alternative for Germany. Russia supported pro-AfD comment in media favored by Germany’s surprisingly substantial Russian-speaking communities.
     
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/

    >have outright cooperated with Russians
    I cannot read examples of this charge without seeing Debbie Wasserman Schulz moving her arm up and down.

  50. @syonredux
    Off-topic,

    Frum has lost all touch with reality:

    The new question is this: What has been—what will be done—to protect American democracy from such attacks in the future? The Russian attack in 2016 worked, yielding dividends beyond Vladimir Putin’s wildest hopes. The Russians hoped to cast a shadow over the Clinton presidency. Instead, they outright elected their preferred candidate. Americans once thought it was a big deal that Alger Hiss rose to serve as acting temporary secretary general of the United Nations. This time, a Russian-backed individual was installed in the Oval Office.
     
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/america-is-under-attack-and-the-president-doesnt-care/553667/

    >the Russian attack in 2016 worked
    And now I am seeing Jon Stewart admonishing, “this isn’t your country!

  51. > Something like 17 million words

    Apparently, Californians think that is praiseworthy

  52. OT, but the NBA all star game is in LA, so perhaps Steve is watching.

    One white guy, and he’s not from the U.S. Klay Thompson, I believe, is half. Kevin Love was picked but is injured.

    I’m waiting for a Black Panther reference.

    It will be interesting to find out what the TV ratings are.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Klay Thompson is indeed mulatto. I thought Stephen Curry was as well, but looking at pictures of his mother, who played volleyball at VPI, has caused me to revise my opinion.
  53. OT:

    Steve,

    As usual, the world is catching up to you and realizing that Malcom Gladwell was simply telling people what they wanted to hear.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.13586/full

    Brace yourself, it turns out that natural ability is far more important than the hours that you put into learning a skill. Granted, you need both – yep, that’s right, nature and nurture, who would have thought – but genetics are the necessary condition, not the hours of practice.

    The older I get the more I understand Goethe. The hardest thing really is noticing what is right in front of you. People – myself included – just want to believe in pretty things. Who doesn’t want to believe that practice will make you better than the guy who doesn’t practice. It feels right.

    Always search for evidence. It’s our only defense against ourselves.

    • Replies: @Lurker

    Always search for evidence. It’s our only defense against ourselves.
     
    That's great, is that your line? Or is it famous and I'm lowly peasant wot knows nuffin?
  54. Frum seems pretty reasonable on immigration. I’m surprised that he’s bought into the Russia stuff so completely.

    First of all, how is “rage” a unique characteristic of Trump supporters? It seems like most of the rage is on the left, the demonstrations and antifa and sputtering university professors.

    Secondly, if Russian election activities consisted of Facebook ads and maybe spear phishing an e-mail account, then, good god, any American teenage boy could have done that.

    As for releasing e-mails from spear phishing, they were non-edited, accurate e-mails, and they mostly showed people speculating about UFOs and how to screw Bernie Sanders.

    But at its core, American politics consists of serial attempts to get private information released. That’s what oppo research is. Health records, tax returns, Goldman Sachs private speech and Howard Stern appearance transcripts. Blooper reels from television shows. Heck, this Vanity Fair article is about a year-long Clinton skunkworks operation to get Apprentice outtakes:

    INSIDE THE DESPERATE, YEAR-LONG HUNT TO FIND DONALD TRUMP’S RUMORED APPRENTICE OUTTAKES
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/12/donald-trump-apprentice-outtakes

    So if Russian nationals participated in this, they pretty much participated in American democracy, for better or worse.

  55. Steve, you and I are LA guys and we should leave the SF stuff alone, especially when we don’t really understand it. Caen wasn’t just “kind of well known” he was a super-star, and he was great, great, great at what he did. The Chron is half the paper it was without him.

    He was a lot more than someone’s story about how he used his name to get out of trouble with SFPD on a Daly City beef.

    This post is like someone from SF saying that X was a big band and this one time I got in the guest list by saying I was Billy Zoom’s cousin.

  56. @Stan Adams
    Steve, have you heard of this site? It has the archives (digitized from microfilm) of several thousand newspapers:

    https://www.newspapers.com

    The best thing about this service is that it lets you see everything that was in the paper - not only the articles but the ads, the obituaries, the comics, the baseball box scores, the stock listings, the TV listings, the movie times, and so on. Some papers archived only the main sections, but many archived everything, including the Sunday coupons.

    Does it have the legendary Whirled News?

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    Does it have the legendary Whirled News?
     
    Or, more importantly, did it achieve Whirled Peas?
  57. @anonymous
    I don't know what brought up Herb Caen, but here's my essay on the subject.
    Caen was phenomenal. For 50 or 60 years his chatty column aggregated submissions from all over, a form somewhat imitated in James Taranto's Best of the Web column in the WSJ. He blended San Francisco society and celebrity gossip with local items from the region, sometimes making the Bay Area seem like one small town.
    Caen's model was Walter Winchell, whose Broadway and politics column and radio show dominated national celebrity talk for decades. The difference was that Winchell was a “rabid anti-communist”, whereas Caen was a liberal. As McCarthy and Goldwater and the Sixties in general sank the careers of “right-wingers” like Winchell and Westbrook Pegler, Caen went with the anti-Vietnam war flow and held the esteem of the smart and cool, from hippies to Kennedy-Johnson Democrats.
    Caen was known for good humor and friendliness to everyone. If something was amusing, he put it in his column, and there was nothing like the witch-hunt political-correctness atmosphere we have now.
    San Francisco was of course the center of the gay movement, so there was lots of gay stuff in his column. Being anti-gay was bigotry, but there was always room for a laugh.
    For instance, here (from memory) was one of his humorous items:
    “DESE AND DOSE DEPARTMENT: A billboard in the Hispanic part of SF shows a half-naked effeminate-looking reclining guy with the line 'Disfruto fumando Salem.'”
    It shows how dumb things have gotten that I now feel I have to explain what a short time ago was considered easy stuff for a daily newspaper audience.
    In the Spanish cigarette ad, “Disfruto fumando Salem” means “I enjoy smoking Salem.” Someone who doesn't know Spanish might think it says “This fruit is smoking Salem.” Of course, even referring to a homosexual as a “fruit” is a hate crime now, but remember, Herb Caen was a beloved LIBERAL, he was pro-gay.
    Notice that to aid reader comprehension and slightly protect himself against gay hatred, his title suggests he is merely joking about local dialects, say in Brooklyn or parts of San Francisco where people say “dese” and “dose” instead of “these” and “those.”
    Now here's the main specimen of Herb Caen I often think of.
    One time, for a good laugh, he quoted a prominent local gay advocate with this joke:
    “It used to be a serious crime, then it became a minor crime, now it's no crime. But we won't be satisfied until it's mandatory.”
    It lost Caen no points with gays or liberals. It was A GAY who was quoted as making the joke. And there was more than a germ of in-your-face truth to it.
    Enemies of the gay agenda also liked the joke unmasking of the fraud inherent in pro-gay stuff. And it turned out prophetic over the years, with mandatory pro-gay K-12, military, trans etc. etc.
    In the internet witch-hunt era this sort of talk is utterly suppressed, puts you on the SPLC hate list, and ruins anyone who risks it. Not long ago Mark Steyn quoted virtually the same joke from Bob Hope in some context. The free-speech bastion National Review denounced Steyn and cut ties to him.
    What would Herb Caen say?

    Not long ago Mark Steyn quoted virtually the same joke from Bob Hope in some context. The free-speech bastion National Review denounced Steyn and cut ties to him.

    It was a Dean Martin joke (Q: “How do you make a fruit cordial?” A: “Be nice to him”). The editor who hit the ceiling was Jason Lee Steorts, Richard Lowry’s deputy. Steyn’s supporters included Jack Fowler, then the publisher of National Review. Steorts never had a constituency among the publication’s attentive readership and his pissant behavior pretty much tore it with them. Thereafter all of his online contributions were met by commenters tossing spears at him. No clue how Steorts keeps his job (which he has had for 13 years) other than he has something on Lowry.

  58. This time, a Russian-backed individual was installed in the Oval Office.

    Pathetic from someone who has a high IQ. Why do some many talking heads and ruling class people need to vomit up lying propaganda? Where is the honor? There must be an inner need-compulsion, like when a first grader is a tattle tale.

  59. @Cloudswrest
    Found this on Reddit

    I was actually ON the 30 Stockton when the famous 'Chinese lady kills the chicken' incident occurred. Big black bus driver said "Hey lady! You can't get on the bus with no LIVE chicken!". Little old Chinese lady stopped just outside the door, fixed the driver with her old-Chinese-lady steely glare, and promptly whalloped the chicken against the side of the bus. Nobody said a single word as she then stepped on the bus with a very dead chicken (dripping just a tennsy bit of blood from its mouth). The bus doors closed and off we went.
     

    Chinese-lady steely glare, and promptly walloped the chicken against the side of the bus.

    Yep, that has to be one of the greatest no-nonsense responses to modernity. Especially in the epicenter of global stupidity – California.

  60. Caen did get in slight trouble towards the end when he mocked the gay slogan, “we are the future”, in the fact he noticed biology and the fact homosexuals cannot procreate in their preferred sexual acts.

    He kind of apologized, if I remember correctly.

    He would not have lasted much longer doing what he loved. Good thing he died when he did. That was a helluva run he had.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Royko dropped dead in the traces. He would have been publicly humiliated for political incorrectness if he'd lived much longer.
  61. @Steve Sailer
    Does it have the legendary Whirled News?

    Does it have the legendary Whirled News?

    Or, more importantly, did it achieve Whirled Peas?

  62. @Luke Lea
    Double or maybe triple OT, but linked to a link of yours brought me to some of your old articles about Ashkenazi over-representation in journalism, Hollywood, and academia, which in turn reminded me of a recent Audacious Epigone piece (or maybe it was somebody else?) showing that run-of-the-mill Ashkenazi Americans are not only far more conservative than their elite "representatives" on issues like immigration, race, gender, and multi-culturalism, but are in fact just as conservative and in some cases slightly more conservative than whites.

    That in turn reminded me of something I had read decades ago about the origins of the Hasidic movement among Eastern European Jewry, which was that it began as a populist revolt. It seems that in pre-Hasidic times the tiny governing oligarchic/cultural elites in the shtetls — which was composed of the then orthodox mitnagdim rabbis and the most successful merchants in town to which their children were married — were so over-bearing and unrepresentative of the interests of the general Jewish population, that it led to a shockingly "vulgar" populist rebellion, whose hallmarks were a new kind of rabbi and a new kind of Judaism.

    I am wondering if something like this might happen again.

    [Forgive the typos, I am sure there must be some but I can't see very well.]

    ……………..which in turn reminded me of a recent Audacious Epigone piece (or maybe it was somebody else?) showing that run-of-the-mill Ashkenazi Americans are not only far more conservative than their elite “representatives” on issues like immigration, race, gender, and multi-culturalism, but are in fact just as conservative and in some cases slightly more conservative than whites.

    The fact that they consistently vote for Democrats at a rate of about %70, year-in and year-out, tends to give the lie to that notion.

    • Replies: @Alden
    You don’t know my Ashkenazi American friends who are far more liberal than any black I know.
  63. Sadly, no.

    The legendary Weakly Whirled Nooz is available through Google Books:
    https://books.google.com/books/about/Weekly_World_News.html?id=b-8DAAAAMBAJ

  64. @Obsessive Contrarian
    Jimmy Breslin was the NYC version of Caen/Royko, but with the garrulous Irish spin.

    Of the three, I always thought that Royko was the best.

    I wonder if every town has/had their Caen/Royko/Breslin types.

    Sportswriter Jim Murray was (IIRC) the top columnist in L.A. in that era:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Murray_(sportswriter)

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Sportswriter Jim Murray was (IIRC) the top columnist in L.A. in that era.
     
    Don't forget Jack Smith.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Smith_(columnist)


    For most of his career he wrote five columns a week, a pace later eased to four per week. In 1992, he went into semi-retirement, writing one column per week.
     
  65. @The preferred nomenclature is...
    Caen did get in slight trouble towards the end when he mocked the gay slogan, "we are the future", in the fact he noticed biology and the fact homosexuals cannot procreate in their preferred sexual acts.

    He kind of apologized, if I remember correctly.

    He would not have lasted much longer doing what he loved. Good thing he died when he did. That was a helluva run he had.

    Royko dropped dead in the traces. He would have been publicly humiliated for political incorrectness if he’d lived much longer.

    • Replies: @Corn
    IIRC Royko once wrote a column in ‘93 or ‘94 arguing against gays in the military. Or at least, arguing if a majority of servicemen opposed it the issue shouldn’t be pressed.

    His death was probably good timing. RIP
    , @The preferred nomenclature is...
    I was just starting to get red-pilled about that time. It really struck me of why should a guy have to apologize for noticing and then writing a fundamental truth.
  66. @asdf
    I saw him referred to as The Original Blogger once. That title was also applied to Jorn Barger. Take your pic.

    Completely different looking dudes anyway. Compare and contrast.

    I saw him referred to as The Original Blogger once. That title was also applied to Jorn Barger. Take your pic.

    Sei Shonagon was the original blogger.

  67. I often wondered what Herb Caen would have to say about Houston if he ever had a reason to write about the place. It was an impossible dream. But one day, to my amazement, Herb Caen spent much of his column talking about Houston. Unfortunately, he was there for treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

    https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/HERB-CAEN-From-Time-to-Time-2966137.php

  68. @Steve Sailer
    Sportswriter Jim Murray was (IIRC) the top columnist in L.A. in that era:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Murray_(sportswriter)

    Sportswriter Jim Murray was (IIRC) the top columnist in L.A. in that era.

    Don’t forget Jack Smith.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Smith_(columnist)

    For most of his career he wrote five columns a week, a pace later eased to four per week. In 1992, he went into semi-retirement, writing one column per week.

  69. @I, Libertine
    Is it just my computer, or are all the comments suddenly repeating themselves?

    I haven’t noticed anything. I haven’t noticed anything. I haven’t noticed anything.

  70. @Steve Sailer
    Royko dropped dead in the traces. He would have been publicly humiliated for political incorrectness if he'd lived much longer.

    IIRC Royko once wrote a column in ‘93 or ‘94 arguing against gays in the military. Or at least, arguing if a majority of servicemen opposed it the issue shouldn’t be pressed.

    His death was probably good timing. RIP

  71. @Obsessive Contrarian
    Jimmy Breslin was the NYC version of Caen/Royko, but with the garrulous Irish spin.

    Of the three, I always thought that Royko was the best.

    I wonder if every town has/had their Caen/Royko/Breslin types.

    Obsessive Contrarian:

    Jimmy Breslin may or may not have been a talented wordsmith, but without doubt he was the quintessential self-hating Irishman.

  72. @Steve Sailer
    Royko dropped dead in the traces. He would have been publicly humiliated for political incorrectness if he'd lived much longer.

    I was just starting to get red-pilled about that time. It really struck me of why should a guy have to apologize for noticing and then writing a fundamental truth.

  73. I never met Herb Caen, but I knew his bartender, Bruno Mooshei pretty well. This old buzzard, all of 5′ nothing had a place in upper Haight street which had existed more or less unchanged since WW-2. He used to regularly roust “barbarians” from his bar, occasionally with the Walther he kept in his waistband. Great martinis. Let me hang out there despite my long hair, and taught me a thing or two about a thing or two.

  74. Then there was the sign outside the wine shop on Castro Street :

    “We have the young Beaujolais right here!”

  75. @I, Libertine
    Random recollection:

    Allen Ginsberg bitterly resented the usage of Caen's coinage of "beatnik," as if it were just a neutral descriptive. Whenever the term was used to describe him, Ginsberg would respond by saying Caen's term was meant to be derisive, like calling a person of color a you-know-what.

    But Caen would later say he didn't intend for the work to be used pejoratively. The suffix, "nik" was part of the zeitgeist in the late 50's because of Sputnik, so the term just popped into his head. After all, it's just the slavic suffix that we know in English as "er."

    Ginsberg was correct. Of course the term is pejorative.

    As an aside, Ginsberg is an alumnus of Eastside High School, made famous by Lean on Me. Obviously the Eastside of 1943 and the Eastside of 1983 were very different places. Much like the Weequahic of Philip Roth is not the Weequahic of today.

  76. @Stan Adams
    Steve, have you heard of this site? It has the archives (digitized from microfilm) of several thousand newspapers:

    https://www.newspapers.com

    The best thing about this service is that it lets you see everything that was in the paper - not only the articles but the ads, the obituaries, the comics, the baseball box scores, the stock listings, the TV listings, the movie times, and so on. Some papers archived only the main sections, but many archived everything, including the Sunday coupons.

    Baseball box scores are easily available online. Having said that, it is a useful tool, mostly because the most interesting part of any old newspaper are the ads, and those normally aren’t archived.

  77. @Shaq
    OT, but the NBA all star game is in LA, so perhaps Steve is watching.

    One white guy, and he’s not from the U.S. Klay Thompson, I believe, is half. Kevin Love was picked but is injured.

    I’m waiting for a Black Panther reference.

    It will be interesting to find out what the TV ratings are.

    Klay Thompson is indeed mulatto. I thought Stephen Curry was as well, but looking at pictures of his mother, who played volleyball at VPI, has caused me to revise my opinion.

  78. @anonymous
    I don't know what brought up Herb Caen, but here's my essay on the subject.
    Caen was phenomenal. For 50 or 60 years his chatty column aggregated submissions from all over, a form somewhat imitated in James Taranto's Best of the Web column in the WSJ. He blended San Francisco society and celebrity gossip with local items from the region, sometimes making the Bay Area seem like one small town.
    Caen's model was Walter Winchell, whose Broadway and politics column and radio show dominated national celebrity talk for decades. The difference was that Winchell was a “rabid anti-communist”, whereas Caen was a liberal. As McCarthy and Goldwater and the Sixties in general sank the careers of “right-wingers” like Winchell and Westbrook Pegler, Caen went with the anti-Vietnam war flow and held the esteem of the smart and cool, from hippies to Kennedy-Johnson Democrats.
    Caen was known for good humor and friendliness to everyone. If something was amusing, he put it in his column, and there was nothing like the witch-hunt political-correctness atmosphere we have now.
    San Francisco was of course the center of the gay movement, so there was lots of gay stuff in his column. Being anti-gay was bigotry, but there was always room for a laugh.
    For instance, here (from memory) was one of his humorous items:
    “DESE AND DOSE DEPARTMENT: A billboard in the Hispanic part of SF shows a half-naked effeminate-looking reclining guy with the line 'Disfruto fumando Salem.'”
    It shows how dumb things have gotten that I now feel I have to explain what a short time ago was considered easy stuff for a daily newspaper audience.
    In the Spanish cigarette ad, “Disfruto fumando Salem” means “I enjoy smoking Salem.” Someone who doesn't know Spanish might think it says “This fruit is smoking Salem.” Of course, even referring to a homosexual as a “fruit” is a hate crime now, but remember, Herb Caen was a beloved LIBERAL, he was pro-gay.
    Notice that to aid reader comprehension and slightly protect himself against gay hatred, his title suggests he is merely joking about local dialects, say in Brooklyn or parts of San Francisco where people say “dese” and “dose” instead of “these” and “those.”
    Now here's the main specimen of Herb Caen I often think of.
    One time, for a good laugh, he quoted a prominent local gay advocate with this joke:
    “It used to be a serious crime, then it became a minor crime, now it's no crime. But we won't be satisfied until it's mandatory.”
    It lost Caen no points with gays or liberals. It was A GAY who was quoted as making the joke. And there was more than a germ of in-your-face truth to it.
    Enemies of the gay agenda also liked the joke unmasking of the fraud inherent in pro-gay stuff. And it turned out prophetic over the years, with mandatory pro-gay K-12, military, trans etc. etc.
    In the internet witch-hunt era this sort of talk is utterly suppressed, puts you on the SPLC hate list, and ruins anyone who risks it. Not long ago Mark Steyn quoted virtually the same joke from Bob Hope in some context. The free-speech bastion National Review denounced Steyn and cut ties to him.
    What would Herb Caen say?

    I think Steyn also quoted Bob Hope joke, about gayness becoming mandatory in California. Irony or wit regarding protected classes destroys the humorist. Once it’s on the internet you’re done for, defense is futile.

  79. I read Herb Caen almost everyday from about age 11 until his death when I was 47. He really made the City a living, breathing place. I read him while living in Fresno, Carmel, Los Angeles, and Calaveras, and of course, the several times I lived in San Francisco.

    On Sudays, Herb did a kind of mood piece that was always about the City and our relation to it. In his later years, the Chron used archived columns for Sunday and gave him a break.

    Just after the City and the Chronicle celebrated his 80th year, with a parade and much fanfare, Caen announced he had cancer and died fairly quickly. The City was never the same for me after that. Within 4 years, I had left the Bay Area never to return.

    Your commenter, Pat Boyle, is an idiot. The Chronicle was a fine, fine paper, and I read it from cover to cover on Sundays. Caen was the crown jewel but there were other fine columnists (Art Hoppe, Terrance Flarherty, Charles McCabe, Stanton Delaplane, among the most prominent).

    Herb made occassional appearances on the Merv Griffen talk show, and once I was walking by Perry’s on Union Street, never been in there, and through the window, there was Herb around a table full of friends. I remember thinking how big his head was.

    Thanks for your column on this great columnist.

  80. Washington Post sports columnist and editor Shirley Povich began his career in 1923, became a full time sports columnist in 1933 until his retirement in 1973. But then continued to write columns for the Post until his death in 1998.

    So Povich wrote from 1923-1998, a career that spans covering Cobb, Ruth, Walter Johnson all the way up to McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, and Bonds.

  81. Mike Royko, now there’s a guy who can very easily pass for a Jew.

  82. @anonymous
    Herb Caen - a 17 million word guy! in NY there was Sidney Zion, but he was more of a trusting soul, who learned, only as an old man, after his daughter died in a hospital that was staffed at a sub-par level, that people who work for liberal city governments cannot be trusted.

    God bless Michael Savage who taught so many people so much with his 100 million words on the radio - may he one day find the peace that Jesus Christ promises to all of us!

    Lincoln and Lee wrote a lot, but what a disaster! 10 million words between the two of them but they should just have sat down together and talked things out. Slavery and other bad things would have ended sooner!

    Howard Stern talks a lot but it is almost all wind and vinegar. Robin Quivers tries to help out, but the billion words of Stern over the last few decades on the radio waves are a blot on multi-media, for the most part. But he is right (as is Michael Savage) that we absolutely need to treat animals better. It is ridiculous for anyone, liberal or conservative, not to take a benevolent aristocratic approach to animals - no, Hodge will not be shot is a start - better yet - kindness and humanity.

    The best writer with the most published words in the 20th century in America - who knows who that is? I could guess, but I prefer not to. Pournelle, maybe? Walker Percy? Definitely not pro-choice p-whipped Paul Harvey and definitely not Saul Bellow. J. Vernon McGee? Fulton Sheen? That guy who did the Beetle Bailey comic strips? Peguy, Don Colacho, Loretta Young? I don't really know.

    Isaac Asimov.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    As for Asimov, maybe you are right, although his work on Shakespeare - a subject I understand much better than he ever did - was, while useful, not impressive. So I am not sure he was all that good on subjects I am not familiar with.

    Chesterton is another good candidate. Guys like that would write four hours or five hours a day and literally, we have as much of what they would say as we would have if 20 to 30 percent of every word a normal person of that era had spoken had been written down. Sort of a genius, Chesterton, although he could say very uninformed things.

    Tolstoy's published and unpublished works take up about 100 volumes in the old Soviet-edited comprehensive edition, but Tolstoy was not a journalist and lived a full life apart from the writing desk, and many of those volumes are earlier drafts of later books.

    Churchill was a lot like Tolstoy, having a full life both apart from, and at, the writing desk.

    Anyway, Asimov is a good candidate. In the internet era, though, I think Pournelle wrote more. And what is up with these people with 50 thousand tweets?

  83. @Chris Marsk
    Pronounced "cane," he invented the ellipsis-delineated item style of writing.

    I remember his account of a dinner party where the uppercrust San Francisco hostess served Rice-a-Roni to the unwitting guests.

    “I remember his account of a dinner party where the uppercrust San Francisco hostess served Rice-a-Roni to the unwitting guests”.

    Exactly the sort of snooping into their lives on Caen’s part which the “upper crust” tried hard to avoid.

    Some forty years ago I had dinner at Trader Vic’s with two members of the oldest and highest set San Francisco has to offer – and their wives, one of whom was my sister.

    We had a fine old time, and I was taken aback as we left to see my erstwhile brother-in-law discreetly handing a wad of bills to the head waiter, who nodded knowingly.

    Jock noticed my puzzlement and said, “Oh that. Just making sure this evening’s fun won’t be in Caen’s column tomorrow morning”.

  84. The Chronicle may not have been a “good” newspaper according to people who worship the New York Times, but in the ’60s it had some top gun columnists and reviewers including Charles McCabe (who probably never wrote a column while he was sober), Stan Delaplane (travel), Ralph J. Gleason (music), and above all the sainted Mr. Caen.

    It’s tempting to recount several of the items he wrote and that have stuck with me all these years, but for the sake of brevity I’ll limit myself to one:

    The New Yorker ran an article about a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in San Francisco, proclaiming it to be the best Chinese restaurant in the world. Caen rang up one of his limitless sources, a man at the Chinese (Taiwanese, I guess) consulate whom he quoted as saying that the place in question was not only not the best Chinese restaurant in the world, it wasn’t even the best on the block.

  85. @gunner29
    I subscribed for the last 20 years of Caen's tenure; I could count on my fingers the number of times I read his drivel....Wilkes Bashford, anyone???

    Didn't know or care about the clowns he babbled about.

    Interesting software glitch; everything is repeated. But doesn't show up in the edit function so you're stuck with it.

    Caen made Wilkes bashford. I always suspected they paid him to keep writing about how all the well dressed men in town bought their clothes there.

  86. @Mr. Anon

    .................which in turn reminded me of a recent Audacious Epigone piece (or maybe it was somebody else?) showing that run-of-the-mill Ashkenazi Americans are not only far more conservative than their elite “representatives” on issues like immigration, race, gender, and multi-culturalism, but are in fact just as conservative and in some cases slightly more conservative than whites.
     
    The fact that they consistently vote for Democrats at a rate of about %70, year-in and year-out, tends to give the lie to that notion.

    You don’t know my Ashkenazi American friends who are far more liberal than any black I know.

  87. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Highlander
    Isaac Asimov.

    As for Asimov, maybe you are right, although his work on Shakespeare – a subject I understand much better than he ever did – was, while useful, not impressive. So I am not sure he was all that good on subjects I am not familiar with.

    Chesterton is another good candidate. Guys like that would write four hours or five hours a day and literally, we have as much of what they would say as we would have if 20 to 30 percent of every word a normal person of that era had spoken had been written down. Sort of a genius, Chesterton, although he could say very uninformed things.

    Tolstoy’s published and unpublished works take up about 100 volumes in the old Soviet-edited comprehensive edition, but Tolstoy was not a journalist and lived a full life apart from the writing desk, and many of those volumes are earlier drafts of later books.

    Churchill was a lot like Tolstoy, having a full life both apart from, and at, the writing desk.

    Anyway, Asimov is a good candidate. In the internet era, though, I think Pournelle wrote more. And what is up with these people with 50 thousand tweets?

  88. @Art Deco
    The Atlantic was once a redoubt of the best sort of liberal opinion journalism and even 10 years ago was promoting people who had a distinct personal voice and acted as honest brokers. (e.g Megan McArdle). Now there's this rot. Frum sold himself as a libertarian at one point, as a crusader at another, and as the recrudescence of Rockefeller Republicanism at another. Now he sells himself as Mr. NeverTrump. Frum is scrounging for a constituency, so plays let's pretend in order to validate the worldview of The Atlantic's employees and readers. The whole exercise is silly.

    I’d call Frum a schnorrer, except for his sense of entitlement.

  89. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    OT:

    Steve,

    As usual, the world is catching up to you and realizing that Malcom Gladwell was simply telling people what they wanted to hear.

    https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/964421382309257216

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.13586/full

    Brace yourself, it turns out that natural ability is far more important than the hours that you put into learning a skill. Granted, you need both - yep, that's right, nature and nurture, who would have thought - but genetics are the necessary condition, not the hours of practice.

    The older I get the more I understand Goethe. The hardest thing really is noticing what is right in front of you. People - myself included - just want to believe in pretty things. Who doesn't want to believe that practice will make you better than the guy who doesn't practice. It feels right.

    Always search for evidence. It's our only defense against ourselves.

    Always search for evidence. It’s our only defense against ourselves.

    That’s great, is that your line? Or is it famous and I’m lowly peasant wot knows nuffin?

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